Socialists Want Self-Determination for Them, but Not for Us.

Who gets to tell you what to do? Someone will, but the amount of control is critically important. Matters of degree matter. Telling other people what they should do may be the inherent problem with democracy. At one extreme, control by outsiders is one of the basic criticisms of Imperialism. Should New York City tell someone in Coopersville, New York or Clymer, New York how to live? What do the people living in Los Angeles know about living in Needles, California or Pine Creek, California? The ideal of self-determination says that political decisions should be made at the lowest possible level. You know about the important problems near you as well as knowing the best solutions. Distant strangers know neither. The superiority of local decisions includes the decision of political affiliation.

Should South Lake Tahoe, California be able to become part of Nevada? Does Hermitage, Pennsylvania have more affiliation with Ohio, or with Philadelphia? This question grows more important as Socialists in big blue cities want to control more and more of our lives. Should the DC suburbs tell the people in Bristol, Virginia how to live, work and play?

Politicians avoid this question because it inevitably disturbs the status quo. Politicians say they are for change, but they have mastered the political system as it exists today. The last thing a politician wants to do is to consider a way to easily change the distribution of political power. Albany has no interest in giving up Plattsburgh, New York to Vermont.

You could argue that each of us can vote with our feet. That assumes that the existing government is fundamental and that the people who live there are subjects. I assume that the people are fundamental and that governmental borders are arbitrary and easy to re-draw. Let’s let Modoc county in the north east corner of California decide if it wants to be part of Oregon or Nevada. Let Clinton County in the north east corner of New York decide if it wants to be part of Vermont. Are they better represented by Albany or by Montpelier?

You could argue that we should set governmental boundaries lot by lot. For now, I’m interested in the way states abuse their citizens. County government is the next smaller representative body. It is a place to start.

Socialists talk about self-determination but not for county government. Socialists are an island nation, and conservatives are the ocean.

Rob Morse

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